SBD/January 18, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Despite Rooney Rule, NFL Sees No Minorities Hired For Head Coaching Vacancies

The Cardinals Thursday filled the final coaching vacancy in the NFL when it hired Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, meaning no minorities filled the eight openings that became available since the end of the regular season (THE DAILY). Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio noted the Rooney Rule “only requires that just one minority candidate per GM and coaching vacancy be interviewed," and there is "no mandate that anyone be hired." However, the "reality is right now in the NFL there are four minority head coaches." Florio: "Ten years ago when this first became an issue for the league, there were two minority coaches. So we haven’t seen a ton of progress." One issue is the fact there are not "enough minority coaches who are calling plays on offense." Florio: "If we see this rush for offensive coaches and there are very, very few minority coaches who are calling plays, then that pipeline just doesn’t have minority coaches in it to get those opportunities to become head coaches." NBC Sports Network’s Amani Toomer said he “likes the process” of the Rooney Rule by “getting in the door, sitting and doing these interviews.” However, it “needs to be extended to offensive coordinators” (“Pro Football Talk,” NBC Sports Network, 1/17). ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes the lack of minority hirings “is an issue that has gotten a lot of attention in the league office.” Schefter: “Some people might not like hearing it, some people might like hearing it, but the league has definitely noticed this. The Fritz Pollard Alliance definitely has noticed this and coaches around the league have noticed it. ... I know a lot of people around the league are noticing this issue and are going to be addressing this issue” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 1/18).
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